Archive for Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Filmmaker wants to close downtown block for one day

Early next month, downtown shoppers may have the chance to see movie magic in the making.

July 16, 2008, 1:58 p.m. Updated July 16, 2008, 4:22 p.m.

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A local filmmaker wants to close down a portion of Massachusetts Street early next month to shoot scenes for an independent film about Lawrence crop artist Stan Herd.

Lawrence director Chris Ordal is asking for city permission to close the 800 block of Massachusetts Street from 6 a.m. to midnight on Aug. 4.

The filming would close the block to all traffic and parking during the time period, but pedestrians would still be allowed to walk to businesses in the block.

"They mainly don't want vehicles that wouldn't fit into their film time period," said Jonathan Douglass, assistant to the city manager. "They're not too concerned with people walking through."

Leaders with Downtown Lawrence Inc. are supporting the closing - which would occur on a Monday. Managers with individual businesses on the block were mixed on the subject. Some expressed concern over the potential for lost sales, but also recognized the movie could produce good publicity for the city.

"I know when the street shuts down for repairs, it is bad for business," said Lori Lange, a manager at Prairie Patches, 821 Mass. "But with this being one day and with it on a Monday, it is probably not that big of a deal one way or another.

"And it is always fun to put Lawrence on the map. People still talk about the movie The Day After."

This film, tentatively titled "Earthwork," focuses on a project Herd did in conjunction with Donald Trump in the 1990s where he used New York City homeless people to build a country scene along the Hudson River.

"It really is a story about a Kansas artist who brings a little bit of Kansas to New York City," said Ordal, who plans on using downtown to depict scenes from the 1980s and 1990s.

In addition to downtown, a significant amount of filming will be done at Pendleton's Country Market just east of the city, Ordal said. In fact, the production crew will build a 200-foot concrete wall to help make parts of the farm look like portions of New York City.

The movie has been in the works for about two years, Herd said, after Ordal helped the artist put together a slide show of his internationally-recognized work.

"The ego likes it, but there is also some trepidation," Herd said about being the subject of a film. "Most of the time, I feel pretty good about it."

Ordal doesn't have a distribution deal in place for the movie, but hopes it will gain notoriety on the independent film circuit and gain a wide showing.

City commissioners are scheduled to discuss the street closing request at their 6:35 p.m. meeting on Tuesday.

Comments

Ragingbear 7 years, 1 month ago

Uh, they can't just use random pedestrians as extras without paying them. Therefore, if you are downtown that day, you should get $75, whether your in the movie or not. That's actually the law.

d_prowess 7 years, 1 month ago

I wonder what a movie like this would consider "a big commercial success?"

fu7il3 7 years, 1 month ago

It's mass street. Most of the clothing doesn't fit into ANY time period.

beatrice 7 years, 1 month ago

"where he used New York City homeless people to build a country scene along the Hudson River."I hope he looked upon their cardboard signs as a contract and gave them food. If they will work for food, you have to give it to them. That's actually the law. Good luck with the project. Stan Herd is a terrific artist.

Eric Neuteboom 7 years, 1 month ago

Sure Bear. Because if there's one place to go for information on "the law," it's the LJW forums!

fu7il3 7 years, 1 month ago

How about The Day After Tommorrow? No one went to see what one anyway.

rumor_man 7 years, 1 month ago

I heard that George Clooney is cast as Stan Herd.

antney 7 years, 1 month ago

It was so nice they they shut downtown Mass Street to repair the roads. They really ought to close it down permanently between 9th and 10th and make it a fun place to hang out. Kinda like down town Boulder.

DRsmith 7 years, 1 month ago

And the clothing of pedestrians would fit into the time period?

beatrice 7 years, 1 month ago

Finally, the sequal to The Day After. Here are some ideas for a title.The Day After, Again.The Day After Next.Two Days After. Five Days Before Next Week. or, When "Terra" Calls Again.

RKLOG 7 years, 1 month ago

I plan to cross 8th street several times that day dressed as captain Kirk.

igby 7 years, 1 month ago

None of your old car will work, they still have Kerry/Edwards stickers on the bumpers. Lol.

JayCat_67 7 years, 1 month ago

Captain Kirk??? Frank the Tank..."C'mon everybody, we're goin' streaking!"

eel 7 years, 1 month ago

"A local filmmaker wants to close down a portion of Massachusetts Street early next month to shoot scenes for an independent film about Lawrence crop artist Stan Herd " This should say Protection Crop Artist to be accurate

ohjayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says: fu7il3 (Anonymous) says:How about The Day After Tommorrow? No one went to see what one anyway"Marion writes:Wellm fu7il3, you have shown your own ignorance!You are thinking of "The Day After" (1983)"The Day After" was made for TV and partially shot in the Lawrence area and according to the Internet Movie Database (imdb dot com) and was one of the most watched TV movies in the history of that media."The Day After" had theatrical release only in Sweden and West Germany although it is occasionally shown on the big screen in cult movie revivals.Try again.--------------------------------------------------------------------------I took fu7il3's comment as a suggestion for a title for the sequel to "The Day After" (following bea's comment just before it). fu7il3 was saying they could use "The Day After Tomorrow" because no one went to see the 2004 Dennis Quaid/Jake Gyllenhaal film.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 1 month ago

"They really ought to close it down permanently between 9th and 10th and make it a fun place to hang out. Kinda like down town Boulder."Yeah, that's cool in Boulder, but almost NONE of the other towns that tried the Boulder thing have found success.

SoupBone 7 years, 1 month ago

What if my car is 30 years old? Maybe all cars made prior to 1980 could be allowed.

cutny 7 years, 1 month ago

No way, but it's such a bad idea that they'll probably go for it.

jonas 7 years, 1 month ago

The time period is the 1990's according to the article. People's clothes will not be that large of a distraction, but the sight of a 2007 Eclipse or something would definitely throw the picture a little. cutny, seriously, how is this that bad of an idea? A single day of one block, on a Monday? Man, they might go under down there.

sourpuss 7 years, 1 month ago

Actually, you don't need to just pay anyone who is around, only people in the shot, and you can keep people out of your shot easily enough. Most filming is done is small bursts, and you close the shot before you do it. People can walk around because most of movie making does not involve the cameras.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 1 month ago

How much is the city charging to close the street? I know in other cities, you have to pay to close a street.Even though Lawrence is unfriendly to new businesses, the bend over backwards to art and film crews.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 1 month ago

"Filmmaker wants to close downtown block for one day"Sounds like they're wanting to open it up for one day.

buffbonzai 7 years, 1 month ago

It's not really good publicity for the city if no one will ever see the movie...

Arana 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh great. Does that mean that everyone is going to park in Borders parking lot. : ( Love the idea with the movie, hate the idea of circling my work like a shark for ten minutes.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

I would check first and make sure this filmaker is not exploiting anyone. Make sure all the monkeys are not taken advantage of in Nairobi. And make sure those cameras and lights don't burn a hole in the ozone layer, or give off CO2. Then we must make sure that he will donate a portion of the proceeds to Save the Whales. And he could help fund the new homeless shelter, oh wait, you are trying to run it out of town too.

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